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Canadian Citizenship and Residency: What You Need to Know

Becoming a Canadian citizen is a significant milestone, granting you access to numerous privileges and benefits. However, citizenship in Canada is closely tied to residency. In this blog post, we’ll explore the residency requirements for maintaining Canadian citizenship and address common questions.

Residency Obligation

Canadian law mandates that to be eligible for citizenship, an individual must have lived in Canada as a permanent resident for at least three years (1,095 days) out of the last five years before applying12. Here are the key points:

  1. Minimum Residency: You must physically reside in Canada for a specified period to maintain your citizenship status.

  2. 1,095 Days Requirement: During the five-year period immediately before applying for citizenship, you should have spent at least 1,095 days (approximately three years) in Canada.

  3. Strong Ties to Canada: The residency obligation ensures that Canadian citizens maintain strong ties to the country and actively participate in Canadian society.

Exceptions and Special Circumstances

While the residency requirement may seem straightforward, there are exceptions and special circumstances:

  • Working or Studying Abroad: If you’re a Canadian citizen working or studying outside of Canada, you may still count that time toward meeting the residency requirement. However, this applies only in specific circumstances.

  • Medical Emergencies or Job Transfers: If you’re unable to meet the residency obligation due to circumstances beyond your control (such as a medical emergency or job transfer), options may be available. Supporting documentation is crucial in such cases.

Dual Citizenship

Canada permits dual citizenship, meaning that Canadians who hold citizenship from another country can maintain their Canadian citizenship as long as they uphold the residency obligation. Having dual citizenship allows you to enjoy the benefits of both countries.


Maintaining Canadian citizenship requires a commitment to spending time in the country and actively participating in Canadian society. While the residency obligation can seem daunting, proper planning and communication with the Canadian government can help ensure that all requirements are met. For those dedicated to holding onto their Canadian citizenship, options exist to navigate any challenges that may arise.

Remember, being a good Canadian citizen involves more than just meeting legal requirements; it’s about contributing positively to your community and embracing Canadian value.

Disclaimer: This blog post provides general information and should not be considered legal advice. Consult with our legal professionals for personalized guidance.

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